A few weeks ago, Bluefruit hosted another successful Mission to Mars course with Software Cornwall. Mission to Mars is a 4-day software development course for young people. During their time together, each team tackles the challenge of writing software for our “Mars Rovers”. Read more about our apprentice Jordan’s inspiring journey from a Mission to Mars attendee to becoming a Software Developer with us. Thank you, Jordan, for sharing your experience and thoughts with us.
Hi! I’m Jordan, a software developer apprentice, and this is my story of how I became interested in the tech world
When I was in year 9 at school, I was sure that I wanted to become a pastry chef. However, my computing teacher at the time told me that I should take up a career in coding because I showed a logical way of thinking, communication skills, and good technical knowledge. This boosted me into wanting to find out more about the software development industry.
In October 2015, I saw a Facebook advert for a 4-day embedded software course. I applied to attend in order to boost my knowledge of coding and learn more about techniques like TDD (test driven development) and Agile.
The first introduction to Agile I had was scrum tennis in a small room in Liskeard! Scrum tennis is a team game in which we learn some of the practices of Agile. We had to pass tennis balls between us making sure each team member touched the ball at least once. Whilst it sounds easy, it is difficult as there are rules; you are unable to pass to the person directly to the left or right of you and the ball must have air time. As a team, we had to predict what our scrum tennis score would be and then we would have 2 minutes to complete the task. When those 2 minutes were up, we would have a 1 minute chat to discuss what we could do to better to gain a higher score. Using this Agile way of having 2 minute sprints and 1 minute retrospectives to improve our work made it more efficient. We were coding Arduinos to make the robots, Bert and Ernie, move. The robots were being portrayed as Mars rovers and mimicked the way that robots on Mars moved and behaved. At the time I was very nervous because I had never touched an Arduino C in my life and I felt like I should have had more prior knowledge. However, the people there were so helpful and made it a fun and enjoyable learning experience through the 7 tasks we completed.
I attended a second Mission to Mars course as a student to refresh my coding abilities on the robots so that I could feel more confident if I were to volunteer to help at the next mission! I went into it feeling more confident as I knew the format of how it was going to be run and I enjoyed it just as much! My team managed to achieve task 8 and we were attempting task 9!
I decided to become an apprentice because I felt I would learn best within an established company, and I was correct! As the interview for Bluefruit was my first ever interview, I became anxious when I got to the initial interview and met all the other applicants. The fact that I recognised some of the Bluefruit employees from my weeks work experience here made me feel more relaxed about where I was and what I could achieve! We were coding using Cyber-Dojo, a learning tool to teach ourselves how to use TDD, and it was our way of showing our entire capabilities and technical aptitude to Bluefruit. During my second interview, which was more formal, it was just me in the room with some team leads from Bluefruit which made it scary for me as I had never had an interview like that. However, I tried my best to be myself and show them that I was the right person for the role. When I received a phone call saying that I had achieved my ambition, it meant a lot and I still thank Bluefruit for the opportunity to learn alongside some of my role models.
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